Shark Bites

Giants HC Pat Shurmur highlighted RB Saquon Barkley's work in pass protection at rookie camp. “The other thing that you see when you work with him is his awareness, his spatial awareness, his ability to pick out who he has in pass protection,” Shurmur said. “We purposely tried to have some blitz drills early to try to challenge the running backs, and I felt like he did a good job with that. When you talk about the difference between college ball and pro ball, you throw the ball quite a bit and you really depend on blitzers getting picked up.” Barkley was mediocre in pass protection at Penn State, allowing 8 hurries in 83 opportunities last year, according to Pro Football Focus. He'd need to be abysmal to get taken off the field in passing situations in New York, though. We're fully expecting Barkley to serve as a 3-down workhorse for the Giants this season.

The Giants have waived/injured RB Paul Perkins with a non-football injury, according to SNY's Ralph Vacchiano. Perkins had surgery in late April for a torn pectoral muscle. If he clears waivers, he'll revert to IR with the Giants. An obvious disappointment even for a mid-round pick, Perkins must prove that he's worth our fantasy attention before you need bother with him further.

The Giants selected Richmond QB Kyle Lauletta in the 4th round of the 2018 NFL Draft. Lauletta was a 3-year starter for the Spiders, finishing his college career with a 63.5% completion rate and 73 TDs vs. 35 INTs. He boosted his stock with a strong Senior Bowl performance, completing 8 of 12 passes for 198 yards and 3 TDs. Lauletta has average arm strength but a quick release and good accuracy. He also tested as a 67th percentile athlete, so there could be some hidden rushing ability. New York is a nice landing spot, where Lauletta will have a shot to develop into Eli Manning’s successor.

The Giants selected OLB Lorenzo Carter early in Round 3 of the NFL Draft. Carter stands 6'5, 250 pounds and notched the 2nd best speed score in this edge class. Carter topped out at 5 sacks as a junior and totaled just 21.5 tackles for loss in his career but spent a lot of time dropping back. He'll come forward on the edge of new DC James Bettcher's scheme. Carter presents upside in IDP leagues that value pass-rushing production.

The Giants selected Penn State RB Saquon Barkley with the 2nd pick of the 2018 NFL Draft. Barkley checks all the boxes. He was a dual-threat over the past 3 seasons, totaling 3,843 rushing yards and 43 TDs on 5.7 yards per carry, plus another 1,195 yards and 8 scores on 102 receptions. The tape shows a home run hitter with plus, plus pass-catching ability. Barkley looks like some sort of cyborg mix between Barry Sanders and David Johnson. He went to the Combine and measured 6’0, 233 pounds and recorded a 98th percentile SPARQ score. The cherry on top is that he just turned 21 in February. Barkley is the 5th RB to be selected inside the top 10 picks over the past 4 years. The 4 previous — Todd Gurley, Ezekiel Elliott, Leonard Fournette and Christian McCaffrey — all finished their rookie seasons as top 10 PPR RBs. Even behind a shaky offensive line in New York, Barkley will have a good shot to make it 5-for-5. He’ll have volume on his side in a backfield that includes only Jonathan Stewart, Wayne Gallman and Paul Perkins.

Giants WR Odell Beckham (ankle) participated in individual drills during Thursday's minicamp session, according to ESPN's Jordan Raanan. Beckham is 6-and-a-half months removed from the fractured ankle that ended his 2017 campaign in Week 5. We haven't yet heard that he's received full medical clearance, but he's obviously making progress. OBJ should be a full-go by the time training camp rolls around.

Giants S Landon Collins confirmed Wednesday that he needs a 2nd surgery on the right forearm he fractured late last season, according to Art Stapleton of NorthJersey.com. Collins will reportedly need 6-8 weeks of recovery time, which should still allow him to start training camp on time. We'll keep an eye on the situation as we move into summer, but IDP owners needn't worry just yet.

Giants WR Odell Beckham showed up for the start of the team's offseason program on Monday. It's at least a small olive branch amid an offseason of trade rumors and holdout threats. The drama isn't necessarily over yet. The trade rumors figure to persist at least until the NFL Draft is over. And Beckham could still stage a training camp holdout if he doesn't get a new contract. But the odds that he's a Giant in 2018 look better now than they did a couple of weeks ago.

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport hears that Giants WR Odell Beckham "will not set foot on a field without a new contract extension agreed to." He's entering the final year of his rookie deal and is set to earn about $8.46 million, leaving him "just" 11th at his position in 2018 salary. Beckham's situation is complicated by his off-field antics, which include a recent viral video that appeared to show him partaking in some illegal substances. We'll continue to keep an eye on the situation but would ultimately be surprised if Beckham misses time due to contract issues. He's a fine target in the back half of the 1st round of early best-ball drafts.

The Giants are set to sign LT Nate Solder, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. It's a huge get for a team desperate for offensive line help. Solder ranked 32nd among 81 OTs in Pro Football Focus' 2017 grades, including a 12th-place finish in run blocking. None of New York's OTs last year ranked better than 52nd in the overall grades.

The Giants have reached a 2-year agreement with RB Jonathan Stewart. The former Panther fell off to 3.8 and then 3.4 yards per carry over the past 2 years, while catching just 8 passes each season. Stewart is well past his prime and joining an offense that still has O-line questions to answer. It's tough to like him at all in fantasy football. We'll see how early the team drafts backfield competition.

ESPN and NFL Network report that the Rams have reached a deal to trade LB Alec Ogletree to the Giants for a pair of draft picks. Ogletree will obviously start for his new team and could settle into either the middle or the weak side. The Rams, meanwhile, will now have an ILB slot to fill next to Mark Barron. They'll also look to replace OLB Robert Quinn this offseason after trading him to the Dolphins last month. There's plenty of IDP production potential available to Ogletree with the Giants, behind a solid D-line and amid what has been a weak LB corps.

The Panthers have released RB Jonathan Stewart. He turns 31 in about a month and averaged a career-worst 3.4 yards per carry this past season. If he earns a role elsewhere in 2018, it'll be primarily as a short-yardage and goal-line specialist. Carolina, meanwhile, is left with Fozzy Whittaker and Cameron Artis-Payne behind Christian McCaffrey, who averaged 3.7 yards per carry on 117 attempts as a rookie. McCaffrey's rushing volume should grow this coming season, but the Panthers might also add another back behind him.

Giants HC Pat Shurmur said from the Combine on Wednesday that he doesn't know if WR Odell Beckham will be ready for training camp. He's still rehabbing the fractured left ankle he suffered on October 8. The fact that he's uncertain for the start of camp nearly 10 months later is a reminder of how serious the injury was. We'll continue to keep a close eye on OBJ's progress.

The Giants have named Pat Shurmur their new HC. The 52-year-old's stock soared after the job he did in Minnesota this season, leading the Vikings to an 11th-place finish in total offense and getting a career year out of QB Case Keenum. Shurmur's 2-season stint as Cleveland's HC from 2011 to 2012 didn't go well (9-23 record), but no one does well in Cleveland these days. In between his stops in Cleveland and Minnesota, he helped Chip Kelly's Eagles to 3 straight top-12 finishes in total offense. The biggest question in New York will be what Shurmur does at QB. He and new GM Dave Gettleman have reportedly spoken highly of QB Eli Manning, but the Giants should still consider a QB with the 2nd overall pick of April's draft.

Panthers RB Jonathan Stewart (back) put in a full practice on Thursday. He was a surprise inactive after his back tightened up last weekend but is on track to play against the Saints on Sunday. Stewart totaled 23 carries for 102 yards (4.4 YPC) in 2 regular-season games vs. New Orleans.

Panthers RB Jonathan Stewart is inactive for today's game against the Falcons after his back tightened up on him this morning, according to the team's official website. The report adds that Carolina "will likely split carries" between Christian McCaffrey and Cameron Artis-Payne. McCaffrey will obviously dominate the pass-catching work.

Giants WR Sterling Shepard (neck) is out for Sunday's game against the Redskins. WR Tavarres King (concussion) is also out, leaving Roger Lewis and Travis Rudolph as New York's top 2 WRs. Lewis has racked up 32 targets and 15 catches over the past 3 weeks. He's a lower-end WR3 option in PPR leagues.

Giants TE Evan Engram (ribs) is out for Sunday's finale against the Redskins. He finishes an impressive rookie season with 64 catches, 722 yards and 6 TDs. Rhett Ellison figures to operate as New York's lead TE this weekend but would be a desperation fantasy play.

Giants HC Steve Spagnuolo said Wednesday that his "hope" is that QB Eli Manning plays all of this weekend's game against the Redskins. We're not sure why he needs to "hope" anything -- if he wants Manning to play the entire game, Manning will play the entire game. He's still not better than a low-end QB2, especially with WR Sterling Shepard and TE Evan Engram banged up.

 
 
 

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